Coronavirus threatens children in India, especially those with multiple disabilities, in many ways. COVID-19 has already left many families without income and children out of school and without the therapeutic interventions they depend on.
Perkins India has reached out to families of children with disabilities to find out what their greatest challenges are during this crisis. Our response plan reflects our best efforts to meet the needs of families and the professionals serving them throughout India. We will expand and modify our plan over time as we monitor the changing needs on the ground.
Perkins India’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic includes:
- Creating and sharing vital coronavirus related information with families. Each week we are creating and distributing short video and print tutorials in Hindi on topics aimed at helping families to support their children with multiple disabilities while at home. For example: Demonstrating how to engage children with disabilities in proper handwashing techniques.
- Providing direct consultation and support to families. Initially, 57 families are being supported by our teachers and community-based workers through regular voice/video calls. The teachers and CBR workers are sharing basic information about COVID-19, new schemes of assistance by the state government and support to continue education and therapeutic interventions with their children.
- Training professionals on effective practices in educating children with multiple disabilities and how to best support children and their families during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond through a “Ask Perkins India” webinar series.
- Supporting the delivery of food and other vital supplies to families of children with disabilities in need through local partner organizations.
- Establishing a call/email response center for families to ask questions to our disability and education experts.
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